Aizawl, Oct 29 (UNI) Blessed with vast stretches of picturesque hills and an ideal setting for hiking up and down jungle treks, a high ridge surrounded by lush tropical forest and pristine rivers with moderate climate, Mizoram is embarking on an ambitious programme to develop a new brand of tourism.
Talking to UNI, State Tourism Minister Z H Ropuia said, ''We are conceptualising an adventure tourism as well as to publicise the unique villages, inculcating interest in rural heritage and culture''.
With a view to attract tourists, the state in emphasising on adventure sports like river rafting and mountaineering in various places, said Mr Ropuia adding that the department had already set up a river rafting spot in Kolodye river, and a few high-tech boats had been put into operation.
''We also have the proposal to tap the watersports facilities in other rivers and lakes and are encouraging industrialists and tour operators to build all categories of hotels and guest houses besides asking the locals to extend paying-guest facilities to accommodate as many tourists as possible along these spots,'' he added.
Mr Ropuia said, ''Tourism department has already made assessments to privatise highway restaurants and resorts as the first step, and the initiative would not only increase tourism revenue but also improve the quality of services to the tourists.'' He said a few highway restaurants and resorts are to be dismantled as the buildings have deteriorated, while the Chaltlang tourist lodge would be upgraded to a three-star hotel status.
The state government had also approched some selected private parties to construct new multi-tech tourist lodges at Zokhawthar (Indo-Myanmar border), Sakawrdai, Khamrang, Tlabung, Kanhmun and Saichoo, in the western belt of Mizoram, at the cost of Rs 6.67 crore, he said.
Informing about the tourists inflow in the state, he said about 30,000 domestic and 200 foreign tourists had visited Mizoram so far this year, adding the department was presently sponsoring many young trainees in foodcraft level and hotel management courses.
Apart from the Tourism department also chalked out a plan to build a typical Mizo village, based on the architectural style that was in vogue during the 1800s. Tourism Secretary C Hmingthanzuala said that the village is constructed with locally-available material by a largely unskilled workforce.
The Mizoram government has tied up with Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to upgrade the tourist spots, lodges and resorts to match the international standards and the next plan is to launch an airpark, he said adding that a small 12-seater aircraft would serve tourists to have an ariel-view of Mizoram.
The fresh initiatives were taken to develop tourist resorts, campsites, natural tracks especially in national parks like Murlen, Dampha Tiger reserve forest and wildlife santuaries housing variegated species of animals, birds and reptiles as well as trees, bamboo groves, canes.
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